The police chief of Burlington, Vt. and his replacement have both stepped down from the job in a span of hours after they admitted to using fake social media accounts to interact with citizens about the department, news station WCAX reports. Former Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo reportedly submitted his resignation on Sunday after it was discovered that he used an anonymous Twitter account to respond to a critic of the department. Mayor Miro Weinberger then announced Deputy Chief Jan Wright would replace del Pozo, but Wright admitted Monday evening to also using a Facebook account under the name “Lori Spicer” to engage with residents about police policy and practices on the platform.
“While Deputy Chief Wright’s situation may be very different than Chief del Pozo's, given the circumstances the department is facing, I found the failure to raise this issue with me in the lead-up to today to constitute a lapse in judgment,” Weinberger said. Deputy Chief Jon Murad was subsequently named acting chief of the Burlington police, and Weinberger said Murad confirmed to city officials that he has never posted to social media anonymously. Weinberger said he's asked the city attorney and HR director to review Wright's posts to determine whether further disciplinary action is required, and said he would ask an outside investigator to review the department's social media activity.